A blog covering life and happenings in Cape Town

Monday, January 24, 2005

The South African Test Series against England

Since shortly before Christmas the South African team has ben doing battle against the English.

The test matches have ebbed and flowed over every test played so far making the cricket very interesting to watch.

There however have been a number of decisions made by the umpires that have had a marked effect on which side has won or lost the test.

Of course when the cricketers have anything to say about them they find themselves in trouble with the cricket authorities and end up losing their match fees.

The match referees have become quite ridiculous with some of their decisions with regards to players actions when being given out.

Bowlers work extremely hard in the hot sun to take wickets and often get the opposition batsmen plum in front or caught off a thick edge and the umpires give the batsmen NOT OUT.

When the bowler shows his disappointment he ends up on the red carpet in front of the match referee.

Often the opposite happens with the batsmen.

They get nowhere near the ball with their bats and get given out caught.

Any gesture towards the umpire intimating that they never touched the ball ends up with a fine.

Cricket in my opinion is a game of emotions and working on the nerves of opposition players is very much part of the game.

Why do players get punished for what they have been trained to do.

It's so funny that bowlers can bowl at and hit the opposition batsmen on the head or body with a very hard ball which can do serious injury but cannot pull faces and make comments to upset the opposition.

There is a moral problem that has crept into the game over the last few years and that is the dishonesty of players and officials.

Batsmen who hit the ball and get caught do not walk and sometimes get away with their dishonesty.

Slip catchers often pick up catches that have bounced and then appeal for a catch.

Even umpires sometimes do not give players out when in fact they are.

Commentators belabour the fact that we have technology so why can it not be used for most of the decisions especially those where there is a bit of doubt.

In circumstances where a player is given out and has left the field and it is found that the umpire has erred in his decision, the player should be reinstated and returned to the field at the fall of the next wicket.

Of course the fielding captain and the umpires should be immediately advised that the decision is under scrutiny and advised of whatever decision is made as soon as possible thereafter.

This will have a marked effect on the game as no captain will want a player to come back once given out.

The captain himself will then have the option of requesting the player given out to remain on the field until the decision has been checked.

The batsmen will also have the chance of walking if he feels he is out even if given NOT OUT by the umpire.

A bonus system can be introduced for players who display honesty and fines can be introduced for players who go against the spirit of the game.

Cricket is a mans game and should not be regulated to produce a bunch of sissies who cannot stand up for themselves!

In the old days bowlers bowled beamers at batsmen without helmets and how many of them were hit on the head.

Today most batsmen hide behind the one bouncer per over rule and I suspect this causes much frustration for the bowler who has part of his armoury removed.

Lets get back to the old type of cricket and monitor the decisions with technology if need be.

Geoff Fairman

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